James 3:6-12 – The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body,sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Psalm 141:3 (NIV) – Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

DEVOTION – Dorothea Love (California)

The best advice I have ever received came from my father.  He told me, “It’s better to keep silent if you don’t have anything kind to say,” and , “Always choose your words wisely.”

My father models his advice.  Although I watched him live these words each day, I failed to learn from his example.  As I mature in my walk with Christ, I am finally beginning to rely on the Lord to help me, especially after my harsh words crushed a trusted friend.  Once the ugly words were uttered, it was impossible to heal the wond they caused.  No matter how profusely I apologized, the damage was done.  Our relationship became strained and filled with tension for months.  All I could do way pray, trusting God for healing and restoration.  Then I waited until my friend could find it in her heart to forgive me.

I wish I had followed my father’s advice and avoided this painful ordeal.  Instead, I learned the hard way.  Now I am more cautious and prayerful in the way I voice my opinions.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Harsh words an wound deeply, so be gentle when you speak.

PRAYER: Thank you, dear God, for the wisdom of our elders.  Help us to learn from their example. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Friends who are estranged.